You may wonder what we mean when we talk about principles of Biblical Community Development, so here is a short summary of a few bite-size concepts:
God’s Intentions, God’s Way for God’s Glory.
We define Biblical Community Development as “the process of communities discovering their true identity and stepping towards the plans that God has for them“. Biblical development is therefore not centered around our plans and ways of working but God’s. When we remember this it helps us not to come in and try and “fix” things in our own strength and understanding.
A Biblical View of Poverty
We believe man is designed for right relationship with God, with others, with his own self and with the physical world. When these relationships are healthy, communities thrive and we experience “life to the full”. When these relationships are broken we experience brokenness. Poverty is therefore much more than just physical in it’s nature but incorporates spiritual, social and identity dimensions.
“Roots and Fruits” (Ideas have Consequences)
We believe that physical poverty is underpinned and sustained by wrong beliefs. These wrong beliefs are lies affecting how we see ourselves, others, the world and God. We experience transformation when we replace these lies and operate out of the truth. To use the metaphor of a tree – when we are rooted in lies we produce poor fruit, but when we are rooted in truth we produce good fruit.
From Relief to Development – It’s about People not Projects
Though relief is the correct response in times of severe need it is not God’s long term plan for communities. Incorrectly applied relief results in dependency and takes away people’s ability to grow and provide for themselves. People are made in the image of God and we must respect their development choices. We are not to come in as “saviours”, but to humbly serve others and point the way to the true saviour.
The Kingdom of God is bigger than just the Church
God cares about every arena of society and this extends beyond church. We (his people) are called to partner with Him and bring forth his Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. We are called to serve and glorify God in the areas of government, business, the arts, education, family and communication.
You can read more details about our underpinning values and principles in the pdf links below: